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A sharper insight into pandemic projections months from now

Projections are looking at what could happen with the pandemic in the future.
Credit: AP
A limited number of socially distanced fans watch a spring training exhibition baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla., Friday, March 26, 2021. Spring has arrived, and many older adults who have been vaccinated are emerging from hibernation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

TAMPA, Fla. — We want to give you a sharper insight into what could happen with this pandemic in the future. 

To do that, 10 Tampa Bay talked with Dr. Ali Mokdad. He's a Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics, and Evaluation and the Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington.

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IHME does projections for every country in the world. Dr. Mokdad says the projections are based on testing, hospitalizations, infections, mortality, mask-wearing, mobility and variants.

They show by August 1st, there will be 618,000 deaths in the U.S. and 4.7 million globally. 

The numbers will go down slightly across the country, but globally they'll go up because of a rise in cases in East Asia and India. 

However, Dr. Mokdad says what's working against us is the fact that more Americans are traveling and fewer are wearing masks.  

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"The best predictor and the best-case scenario is mask-wearing. If 95 percent of Americans wear a mask in Winter, we will have a very mild rise in cases and in mortality, but not similar to what we have seen in the past."

Dr. Mokdad says projections show cases and deaths will continue to drop into next winter because this virus is seasonal, and because people are getting vaccinated.    

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